Ironclad (2011)

Ironclad (2011)

Director: Jonathan English
Starring: James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Kate Mara

King John seeks revenge for being forced to sign the Magna Carta, but his way is barred by a ragtag alliance of a baron and a Templar holding Rochester Castle.

To be honest, I decided to watch this movie because the thumbnail of the poster made me think it starred Christopher Lambert, but I should've known that wasn't the case because the person I was looking at (actually lead actor James Purefoy) looks like Lambert did about 20 years ago. Anyway, while this wouldn't unjustifiably be deemed a B flick, it wasn't too shabby. There are of course a host of historical inaccuracies (plotwise, it gets to the point where it's basically alternate history), but a lot of attention is paid to siege warfare which is pretty cool. James Purefoy is decent as the Templar Thomas Marshal, but the strongest performances come from Paul Giamatti as King John and Brian Cox as D'Aubigny. There's a bit of a Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven vibe going on, which is kinda interesting. The fight scenes are pretty good, but if you don't like shaky cam, it'll probably rub you the wrong way. The violence is rather graphic and largely practical effects, which I appreciate. If you're looking for something to watch between seasons of Game of Thrones (note the Charles Dance plays the Archbishop of Canterbury), this isn't a bad choice.

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